Herrera started only 19 Premier League games in his maiden season at Old Trafford and faces an even tougher fight for a shirt following the captures of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, but the 25-year-old’s nose has certainly not been put out of joint by the latest arrivals.
“We have the capacity to buy new players and now there are even better players than last season,” Herrera said, “but it’s a good challenge for me. I love football, I love my job and I love to improve, so I don’t see that [competition] as a problem. I see it as a new challenge that will make me better.
“I always want to play with the best players and Bastian is one of the best in the world. He is always safe with the ball, he always knows what is at his back and I’m sure I am going to learn a lot of things from him.”
“I knew in advance I was coming to maybe the biggest club in the world so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to play, otherwise I would have stayed in Bilbao, where maybe it would have been easier for me to play.
“The manager wants us to fight for everything this season – Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup. So we are going to need many players to help us with that.
“If you want to make a good season, you don’t do it with 11 players you do it with 20-22 players. There are injuries, good and bad moments for the players, so everyone is going to be involved in what I think will be a very good season.”
Angel Di Maria looks certain to leave United this summer after failing to settle in Manchester but, unlike the Argentine, Herrera is happy in the Premier League.
“Of course, there are differences, it’s a new country, a new city, a new club – and one of the biggest – but football is football everywhere you go.
“If I am a professional player and if I work every day, I am going to get the chance to play and to be important for Manchester United.
“I had a very untimely injury to my rib in my first game and that stopped my progress at the start of the season. But I always believed in myself when I was not playing much.
“The biggest difference [from Spain] I have seen is the rhythm of the game. In England, the game never stops, even when one team is winning. I saw this last season. If we are winning, or our opponent is winning, the guy who was going to take a throw-in did it as quickly as possible.
“One of the things I like in the Premier League is that everything is thought out for the fans. So I think that’s one of the things we have to improve in Spain.”
Herrera also gave an insight into Louis van Gaal’s much talked about ‘philosophy’, adding: “He has a philosophy, about the behaviour of the team, both on the pitch and off it.
“Also about the style of football. He always wants to be the protagonist in the games. He always wants to win the games through the ball, trying to attack all the time, but he doesn’t like to take so many risks. He wants to get possession and he wants players who can play the ball and don’t lose it.”